15 Sep

NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne at Lime Rock this Thursday, Sept. 18

gordon

LAKEVILLE, Conn. (Sept. 15) – Jeff Gordon, along with teammate Kasey Kahne, Rick Hendrick and Alan Gustafson, are at Lime Rock Park from 3:00 to 5:30, Thursday, Sept. 18, for the track’s efforts to raise funds and awareness for AARP Foundation’s “Drive to End Hunger” campaign. NASCAR star Gordon has spearheaded Drive to End Hunger since 2011.

Gordon, Kahne and Gustafson (Gordon’s crew chief on the #24 Drive to End Hunger Hendrick Motorsports Chevy SS in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series) are giving “hot laps” around Lime Rock’s storied 1.5-mile, 7-turn circuit to those who donated to Drive to End Hunger, following a 45-minute hosted interview for hundreds of fans, each of whom donated $24 to be here. They’ll be driving prototype 2015 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28s.

Local racing star Liam Dwyer (Southbury, Conn.), the armed forces amputee who made national news in May following his IMSA race win at Lime Rock on Memorial Day weekend – and someone Gordon has wanted to meet – will also be here; he’ll be giving Gordon some “recon” laps prior to the hot laps as Jeff has not raced at Lime Rock before.

Lime Rock Park has set a goal of raising $96,000 in 2014 for Drive to End Hunger, the track’s Official Charity, and Thursday is the biggest element so far of the effort which provides food to needful seniors via the Connecticut Food Bank.

08 Sep

New England Hot Rod Reunion on tap for next weekend

nehrrEpping, NH – The coolest cars in the Northeast will proudly be on display Sept. 12-14 during the NHRA Motorsports Museum New England Hot Rod Reunion presented by AAA Insurance at New England Dragway. Three days of classic cars, nostalgic quarter-mile drag racing, and honoring the legends of drag racing will take place at the scenic facility outside of Boston.

The event comes to life Sept. 12 at 8 a.m. as hundreds of vintage show cars pour into the facility for the start of the Show ‘n’ Shine featuring a streaming parade of hot rods, classics, and customs that will be on display during the event. Gates will open at 8 a.m. each day of the reunion.

The racing on the dragstrip begins Friday at 9 a.m. with nostalgic nitro quarter-mile drag racing. Cars that raced during the early days of the NHRA and New England Dragway will thrill those in attendance with passes down the track in a salute to days past. Time trials, qualifying, and exhibition runs will be showcased during the day.

The first day of the reunion concludes in exciting fashion at 5 p.m. with a jet car running at more than 200 mph. Flames, smoke, and the sound of a screaming jet engine is the perfect way to end the day.

Saturday will be the day that the legends take center stage at the event with a reception and autograph session at the track. Two autograph sessions will take place featuring grand marshal Bob Frey. Also honored will be Gil Coraine, John Healey, Al Hanna, George Weiler, and “Jungle Pam” Hardy. The Hot Rod Reunion Reception takes place at noon and is a perfect way to hear from the honorees at the event.

Saturday’s finale features the world-famous Cacklefest parade on the dragstrip. New England Dragway will come alive with the sounds of dozens of nostalgic race cars from yesteryear. The exhaust pipes on these machines glow red, and fans clamor for the sights and sounds of the dramatic day-ending event.

The weekend concludes Sunday with eliminations starting after the pre-race ceremony at 10:45 a.m. Also taking to the track will be an encore Cacklefest and another jet-car exhibition.

• SCHEDULE: The event begins at 8 a.m. each day, with racing beginning at 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 12; racing starts at 9 a.m. Saturday Sept. 13, and 9 a.m. Sunday Sept. 14.

• TICKETS: Single-day tickets are only $25; three-day tickets are $75 at the gate; and children 15 and younger will be admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Auto Club members, Show Your Card and Save on admission.

• ON THE WEB: For more information, log on to www.nhramuseum.org.

12 Aug

IMSA Tudor Championship Racing Coming to Lime Rock in 2015

Lakeville CT – The IMSA Tudor United SportsCar Championship series has announced its 2015 schedule, and it is set to visit Lime Rock Park for the first time, featuring the Tudor GT Daytona (GTD) and Prototype Challenge (PC) series on July 24-25, 2015.

“This is simply an outstanding and exciting schedule for racing fans across North America” said IMSA CEO Ed Bennett in a statement, “We wanted to further elevate what was an impressive Tudor Championship schedule in 2014 and we accomplished that goal with the addition of Lime Rock Park by popular demand.”

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IMSA Tudor GT Daytona (below) and Prototype Challenge (above) coming to Lime Rock in 2015

daytona

In addition, both classes (Grand Sport and Street Tuner) of the IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series will be racing that weekend. “This will be a fabulous sports car racing weekend,” said track president Skip Barber. “All these championships are known for big, highly competitive fields, especially when they race at Lime Rock.”

Tudor GTD cars include the Aston Martin V12, Audi R8 LMS, BMW Z4, Ferrari 458 Italia, Porsche 911 GT America and the SRT Dodge Viper GT3-R. The Prototype Challenge cars are much like the high-tech LMP2 cars but with a spec engine and chassis.

GTD

The Continental Tire series (above) was here this past Memorial Day weekend, where they put on a great show. The GS cars include Aston Martin Vantage, BMW M3, Chevy Camaro GS.R, Ford Mustang Boss 302 R, Nissan 370Z, Porsche 997 and Subaru WRX-STI. The STs are BMW 128 and 325, Honda Civic Si, Hyundai Genesis, Mazda MX-5, Nissan Altima and Porsche Boxster and Cayman.

“IMSA Tudor and Continental sports cars at Lime Rock are perfect for a mid-summer race weekend,” Barber says. “We are all looking forward to it.”

Lime Rock Park
860.435.5000
info@limerock.com

tudor_logo

18 Jun

Climb to the Clouds is returning to the Mt. Washington Auto Road June 26th – 29th, 2014!

Organized and sanctioned by the Sports Car Club of New Hampshire, the 2014 Subaru Mt. Washington Hillclimb will be a 3-day motorsports festival including 80+ car competition field filled with some of the best drivers from around North America and the world as well as a contingent of rare vintage race cars.

Also known as the “Climb to the Clouds”, the Mt. Washington Hillclimb is one of America’s oldest motorsports events, first run in July, 1904, seven years before the first 500-mile race at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway and twelve years prior to the inaugural Pikes Peak Hillclimb in Colorado. The Climb to the Clouds was run sporadically from 1904-1961, then not again until 1990 when it was run consistently until 2001. Following a ten-year hiatus, the Mt. Washington Hillclimb returned in 2011 as part of the 150th anniversary celebration of the Mt. Washington Auto Road which first opened on August 8, 1861.

1st-official-speed-record-L.J.-Phelps-8-25-1903

L.J. Phelps sets the first official speed record at the Mt. Washington Auto Road in August of 1903, a year prior to the first Climb to the Clouds Hillclimb. Phelps record time was 1 hr 48 min and he drive his own car, a “Phelps”.

Originally referred to as the Mt. Washington Carriage Road due to the horse-drawn wagons that traversed the road to the summit of Mt. Washington in the late 1800’s, auto manufacturers believed that the Carriage Road would serve as the perfect proving ground for them to demonstrate the ability of their new “horseless carriages.” Promoted as “the greatest contest of motor vehicles ever held”, the inaugural Climb to the Clouds in 1904 included manufacturers such as Rambler, Mercedes, Oldsmobile, Stanley Steamer, Pierce and a high priced Daimler.

In the 1904 Hillclimb F.E. Stanley from Newton, Massachusetts, co-creator of the famous Stanley Steamer, drove his 6-horsepower, 800-pound steam-powered Locomobile to the summit of Mt. Washington only to be beaten by Harry Harkness from New York driving a 40-horsepower Mercedes that weighed 2,200 pounds. Harkness posted a winning time of 24 minutes, 37 and 3/5 seconds.

Since that first year of competition, many well-known drivers have competed and won the Climb to the Clouds including “Cannonball” Baker in 1928 & 1932 and the legendary Carroll Shelby in 1956. Driving a Franklin in 1928, Baker raced to a time of 14:49.6 seconds. Carroll Shelby, driving a specially prepared Ferrari roadster in 1956, posted a record-setting run of 10:21.8 on his way to victory.

Carroll Shelby racing a Ferrari in 1956

Carroll Shelby racing a Ferrari in 1956

In 1961 Bill Rutan from Connecticut drove his Porsche Carerra-powered Volkswagen to another new record time of 9:13.0 that would stand for the next 29 years – until the return of the race in 1990 when Champion rally driver Tim O’Neil from nearby Franconia, NH drove his 300+ horsepower all-wheel-drive Volkswagen Rally Golf to the summit in an amazing time of just 7 minutes and 45 seconds.

Bill Rutan setting new record of 9 minutes, 13 seconds in the 1961 Climb to the Clouds

Bill Rutan setting new record of 9 minutes, 13 seconds in the 1961 Climb to the Clouds

Following the return of the Mt. Washington Hillclimb in 1990, the event was run annually as part of the Mt. Washington Auto Road’s summer event schedule until 2001. During that time, several new course records were shared between 7-time Sports Car Club of America National Rally Champion Paul Choiniere from Shelburne, VT and multi-time Canadian Rally Champion Frank Sprongl from Mississauga, Ontario. Sprongl went on to set a record time of 6:41.99 in 1998 driving his 500 horsepower Audi Quattro S2 that would stand for 13 years.

Six time Canadian Rally Champion Frank Sprongl ascending Mt. Washington in 1998 in his 500bhp Audi Quattro S2, setting a record at 6min 41.99 seconds.

Six time Canadian Rally Champion Frank Sprongl ascending Mt. Washington in 1998 in his 500bhp Audi Quattro S2, setting a record at 6min 41.99 seconds.

In 2011, ten years after the last Mt. Washington Hillclimb was run, Subaru Rally Team USA driver and 4-time Rally America Overall Champion David Higgins from the Isle of Man came to Mt. Washington for the first time. Driving a Vermont SportsCar-prepared 2011 Subaru WRX STI all-wheel-drive rally car, Higgins set a new overall course record of 6:11.54 – smashing Sprongl’s previous record time by more than 30 seconds!

David Higgins drives a Subaru WRX to new Mt. Washington record.

David Higgins drives a Subaru WRX to new Mt. Washington record.

Those racing in the 2014 Subaru Mt. Washington Hillclimb will be competing on the very same 7.6 mile road as the original 1904 event 110 years earlier. Of course these days the surface has changed with nearly 87% of the road now asphalt and 13% still gravel. The 7.6 mile Auto Road is one of the ultimate challenges for driver and automobile alike. The serpentine road is lined with trees on the lower half and dramatic drop-offs above halfway as it winds its’ way to the 6, 288 foot summit of the Northeast’s tallest peak – Mt. Washington.

The 2014 entry list includes three of the past five recent Mt. Washington Hillclimb record holders (O’Neil, Sprongl and Higgins); the top twenty teams from the Rally America National Championship; a variety of high-horsepower, purpose-built hillclimb cars and a hand-picked vintage class filled with racecars steeped in motorsports history.

David Higgins recently stated “The hill is one of those special driving events and it’s mix of different surfaces, bumps and deceptive bends makes it so tough. The added history of the climb also adds some extra pressure. Then you throw the weather into the mix and you know you are going to have to be at your best to succeed.”

Other notable drivers attending the Subaru Mt. Washington Hillclimb in June include X Games legend, extreme sports icon and 4-time Rally America National Champion Travis Pastrana from Davidsonville, MD, who set an unofficial Mt. Washington Hillclimb record of 6:20.47 driving a 2010 Subaru WRX STI rally car in September 2010 while recording a television special for Red Bull.

When asked about returning for this year’s Climb to the Clouds, Pastrana said “This year is very special for me because I had the record and now my teammate David Higgins has it. We with both get the chance to race with similar equipment and with similar conditions. It will be a fight to see who can claim the fastest time and a challenge for everyone competing to try and take the record, because anyone expecting to win will probably have to post a time that is faster than anyone has ever been.”

In addition to Higgins and Pastrana, former Belgian National Rally Champion David Sterycx, now from Los Angeles, CA, who competes in the Rally America National Championship will be testing his skills on Mt. Washington as will the 2009 Rally America 2-wheel-drive National Champion Dillon Van Way from Carencro, Louisiana; current and former New England Hillclimb Association Champions Kevin Gale from Sutton, NH and Sherman Baumann from Moodus, CT.

Also returning to Mt. Washington this year will be three very popular racers from New Hampshire who have competed in every Mt. Washington Hillclimb race since the event returned in 1990 – 14 events in all. These drivers include David Patten from Dunbarton, NH; Drew Young from Loudon, NH and Don Taylor from Claremont, NH. All three drivers are regular competitors in the New England Hillclimb Championship which hosts hillclimb events on access roads at the Mt. Ascutney State Park, Burke Mountain State Park, Okemo Mountain Resort and Mt. Philo State Park – all of which are located in the state of Vermont. Taylor will be pulling double-duty at this year’s hillclimb as he’ll also serve as the event’s Chief Technical Inspector.

The ever-popular Vintage Class meanwhile features a lineup of ten prestigious racing cars from the 1940’s through the late 1970’s. Although all vehicles featured in this class have played a significant role in motorsports history through the years, the 1958 Porsche Carrera-powered Volkswagen “Bathtub” probably boasts the most Mt. Washington history of all cars entered. Driven in 1961 by the legendary Bill Rutan from Connecticut, Rutan and the “Bathtub”, as it had come to be known, returned to Mt. Washington 29 years later in 1990 and raced to the top of Mt. Washington once again – beating his 1961 record-setting time by almost a minute!

Although Rutan won’t be sitting behind the wheel of the “Bathtub” when it return to Mt. Washington this coming June, the completely restored Carrera-powered Volkswagen will be driven by another well-known Connecticut racer, Wayne Carini from Portland, CT. The popular host of the Velocity Channel’s “Chasing Classic Cars” television show, Carini will not only be racing the vintage Volkswagen, he’ll also serve as the Grand Marshal of the 2014 Subaru Mt. Washington Hillclimb.

Porsche Carrera-powered Volkswagen “Bathtub”

Porsche Carrera-powered Volkswagen “Bathtub”

The three-day motorsports event will consist of two half-days of practice on Friday morning until noon and again on Saturday morning until noon, June 27th and 28th. Although spectators will not be allowed to view practice runs by the drivers and teams on Friday morning, they will be able to enjoy viewing practice from the base area of the Mt. Washington Auto Road on Saturday morning for free or be shuttled to half-way for viewing from there for a fee.

16 May

Mille Miglia. The start the second leg.

personal2gbYesterday the crowds gave a warm welcome to the Mille Miglia, travelling through the Veneto and at their arrival in Padua. This morning the departure from Thermae Abano Montegrotto, bound for Rome, where the teams are expected at Castel Sant’Angelo for 10.30pm.

Brescia, May 16th, 2014 – The Mille Miglia set off again this morning, direction Rome. The passage through the Veneto was marked by a warm reception from the crowd. Last night’s ranking ended with Cane and Reichle in first place (driving a Bugatti T 37), followed by Vesco and Guerini driving a Fiat Siata 514 MM and Moceri & Cavalleri in an Aston Martin Le Mans.

Photos from 2013 Mille Miglia

Photos from 2013 Mille Miglia

“I want to congratulate the Mille Miglia and its organizers” – said Angelo Sticchi Damiani, President of the ICA – “and I also wish to thank all of the ACI organisations involved along the course, both for helping with the organization and with the welcome given to the teams throughout the legs in the different areas. ”

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At the moment the convoy of the Mille Miglia has passed through Ferrara and the ranking has changed. In first place we find Moceri and Cavalleri, followed by Cane and Reichle and, surprisingly, by Takemoto and Takemoto in the Bugatti 35A.

mm bugatti

After stopping for lunch in San Marino, the cars will set off again, this time for Rome, where they will arrive in the beautiful setting represented by the gardens of Castel Sant’Angelo, at around 10.30pm.

mm alfa romeo 6c 1750 gs

 

Mille Miglia on social networks

All information and updates on the Mille Miglia can be found on the website www.1000miglia.it and, after registering on the press site, also on www.press.1000miglia.it , on which press releases, photos and video footage of the race will be made available. You can also follow the Mille Miglia on social networks: Facebook (official page of the Mille Miglia), Twitter (@millemiglialive) and YouTube (Mille Miglia Channel).